Bhaichung Bhutia: I would encourage Lenny and Mehtab to push forward more regularly

The legendary Indian footballer has warned the Blue Tigers to be wary of complacency as they enter an important phase of the tournament…

Bhaichung Bhutia is of the opinion that for the Indian attack to be far more potent than what it is already, more players have to be in the box in order to meet the crosses from the flanks.

It has been observed that Lenny Rodrigues and Mehtab Hussain haven’t moved forward often and preferred to play from the deep.

“Most of the Indian goals have come from crosses and penalties. It is a very good sign, but the attack will be far more potent if there are more bodies in the box to meet the high quality crosses of Nirmal Chettri, Syed Rahim Nabi and Clifford Miranda. For that to happen, I encourage the two central midfielders, Lenny and Mehtab, need to push forward more regularly,” Bhutia wrote in his column for The Times of India.

He mentioned that the game against Nepal must be viewed as a chance to bolster their confidence with a good win which shall prepare them for tougher matches as the tournament progresses.

“There can be no better opportunity to do that than against Nepal, who are currently down in confidence. Nepal were given a lesson in professional football by a rampaging Cameroon, who exposed the brittle defence of our neighbours. It is precisely why I won’t be happy with India just going out there and adding to their tally of victories,” he elaborated.

“The coach has so far done a great job with the team and I am sure he is looking at the situation in a similar way. Let’s treat this match as an opportunity to prepare for the bigger battles and not just another game to garner full points,” he further added.

Koevermans has done a great job

Bhaichung admitted that India didn’t have the best of starts in their last match against Maldives but believes that they have the potential to enter the final on the back of a 100% record.

“India have made a spectacular start to the Nehru Cup and the last two results should give them the confidence that they can sail through the league stage with a 100 per cent win record. But for that to happen, the team needs to really guard against complacency and not let their guard down just because they have one foot in the final,” he explained.

He praised the Indian back-line for their sturdy resolve and added that Nepal wouldn’t find it easy to breach it.

“In the last match against Maldives, the Indian team began sluggishly but picked up pace as the game progressed. Our defence has stood strong in both these games and that is very heartening to see and it would take something special from Nepal to get pass Subrata and Co.”

The United Sikkim co-owner has requested the fans to turn up in numbers and support their national side.

“There is no bigger honour and pride for players than representing their country in an international tournament and hence I urge the fans to come in numbers and cheer for team India as there is no better high for the players than to play in front of their home fans.”

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